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Autism cases in the UK have levelled off

17th October 2013
autism

In the 1990’s there was a surge in new cases of autism diagnosed in the UK. However, a study published in the British Medical Journal has shown that the number of new cases of autism in the UK has now levelled off.

The researchers looked at data which represented 5% of patients in the UK and used this information to estimate the number of 8 year olds with autism each year.

The prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders was estimated to be 3.8 per 1,000 boys and 0.8 per 1,000 girls. It was shown that this figure was stable between 2004 - 2010.

The study concluded there was "compelling evidence that a major rise in incidence rates of autism, recorded in general practice, occurred in the decade of the 1990s but reached a plateau shortly after 2000 and has remained steady through 2010".

It is claimed that an increase in awareness and therefore diagnosis of the condition are responsible in part for the earlier increase.

It is believed that autism affects more than one in 100 people in the UK.

 

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